Entertainment

Have entertainment questions? Ask an Expert online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

My 17-year-old daughter is an aspiring singer. She has written…

My 17-year-old daughter is an...
My 17-year-old daughter is an aspiring singer. She has written several original songs which include the lyrics and music. (www.tiffanyalvord.com) Should she copyright her songs? From the research I have done (and from a contract that was presented to her from a production company where she was referred to as a "work for hire") it seems she is just going to have to transfer ownership of these rights over to the company or future label she signs with, anyway. I'm confused on why an entertainment lawyer advised us to copyright her original songs if she most likely will lose publishing rights if she gets signed.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Entertainment Question
Answered in 24 minutes by:
10/26/2009
Hugh
Hugh, Composer, Producer and Performer
Category: Entertainment
Satisfied Customers: 59
Experience: 20 years experience in performing, studio sessions, producing, composing, entertainment management.
Verified
As a composer, producer and session player, I've only worked on two "work for hire" contracts. One of them was for a regional television show, in which I wrote the theme song. Any other work I do, is typically through licensing my songs (which is more typical). That way, I get royalties. I know a few major recording acts. The money they get from their songwriting royalties is considerable.

I highly discourage work for hire. This means your daughter is getting a set amount for each song she writes and then the compensation for those songs is finished. I went to the link you gave me. She is very talented. I'm not sure what your objectives are for her, but what she is doing is giving up the rights to her songs. Is she just a songwriter, or does she has aspirations of being a recording artist? What does the production company have to offer? I just can't see this.

Some songwriters work for publishing companies on a work for hire basis. They literally sit in a room all day and just churn out songs. It's a living - if that is what your objective is. But, if the song hits big, just think of all that money the composer forgoes. Also, they get no credits for the songs!

Just say hypothetically, they are able to do something with your daughters songs. If they place these songs with someone else (Say a big name), then it is the production company that will be making continual royalties from her song...and that adds up to big money. Typically, work for hire contracts require that you totally give up the song. She will have no credits!

Say your daughter is "discovered" on the basis of the songs she wrote for this production company. Guess what? She will have to turn around and pay royalties to this company to record the song she wrote. Why? Because she no longer has rights to it. It's not hers. She is giving up potential income in what she rightfully deserves. You really need to think this through.

She does need to file for copyrights. It gives her ownership.

I've been in the business over 20 years. I've seen it all - and I've seen people get burned in this scenario way too many times.

Good luck. Let me know if I can assist you more, or if you have any other questions.
Hugh

Edited by hman20 on 10/26/2009 at 5:31 AM EST
Ask Your Own Entertainment Question
Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Hey, I just had deja vue. That is so weird. Thanks so much for your answer. I can see it would be hard to reply to my question when you don't have all the facts. Yes, my daughter wants to be a recording artist. She worked for the last 5 months with a "production company," and now that the album is almost complete, they handed us a very aggressive and oppresive contract. We paid one entertainment attorney to look it over who told us (begged us) not to sign it. He said it was the worst he'd ever seen! He said we would regret it. Since we are new to all of this, we wanted another opinion. We didn't think the first attorney was up on the new "360 deals." The second attorney has been trying to negotiate for us on major deal points. It hasn't gone well. We just decided last week to walk away from it. They want all publishing rights with no right of reversion, no outs, no advances, and 50/50 split on everything plus a guaranteed 10% on gross for touring! My head was spinning after reading the contract (which I hear is nothing compared to a label contract.) Well, we are learning fast. I just don't understand the whole copyright, royalty, publishing thing too well, If she ever gets to a point that we are looking at another contract, I want to know what to look for that is fair and more industry standard as far as her original songs are concerned. So after paying 2 attorneys and after 5 months of hard work, we are disappointed, to say the least, that we were about to be taken advantage of because of our newness to the business. I'd love to chat with you some more, but we are broke. :) Great web site. I'm sure I'll be back sometime soon..

Thanks. I wish you all the best. 360 Deals are common these days, but you never give up your complete rights to publishing. They are just a production company. They are making a deal like they are a record company. Even when a writer signs to a publisher, the songwriter still retains ownership. The publisher is merely "assigned" the rights for certain amount of time, which gives them the right to make money on your songs. From what you tell me so far, it is terrible deal and you are clearly getting ripped off. They clearly don't have your daughter's best interest. They are out for the money.

Another thing - a lawyer can call himself an entertainment lawyer without any prior experience, and there is no need for a certificate to say so. You really have to watch what entertainment attorney you get.

BTW: If you like the answer, please accept it. That is why I'm here!

All the best-
Hugh
Hugh
Hugh, Composer, Producer and Performer
Category: Entertainment
Satisfied Customers: 59
Experience: 20 years experience in performing, studio sessions, producing, composing, entertainment management.
Verified
Hugh and 87 other Entertainment Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with an entertainment expertLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Hugh Your Own Question
Hugh
Hugh
Hugh, Composer, Producer and Performer
Category: Entertainment
Satisfied Customers: 59
59 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 20 years experience in performing, studio sessions, producing, composing, entertainment management.

Hugh is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here.

DianeDallas, TX

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Cher

Cher

MENTOR/ENTERTAINMENT

432 satisfied customers

TV, Movies, Music, Parties, Entertainment Industry Analyst

Michael

Michael

Entertainment Industry Analyst

330 satisfied customers

Entertainment Industry Professional

Martin

Martin

Engineer

229 satisfied customers

Fan of Cinema and Video Games

Erdaram

Erdaram

Composer, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards

146 satisfied customers

I have been Writing, Arranging, Composing, Preforming and Recording Music for 37 years.

Ask Veronica

Ask Veronica

Entertainment Exec.

140 satisfied customers

10+ years as an Entertainment Executive and Industry Insider

Hugh

Hugh

Composer, Producer and Performer

59 satisfied customers

20 years experience in performing, studio sessions, producing, composing, entertainment management.

N Cal Atty

N Cal Atty

Attorney

83 satisfied customers

Attorney in California since 1983

< Previous | Next >

Related Entertainment Questions
Can you help me find a way to contact screenwriter Spinner (
Can you help me find a way to contact screenwriter Anthony Spinner ( https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0818961/)?I want to ask him a question about a 12 o'Clock High tv episode he wrote entitled "I am the E… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
Did the screenwriter Sy Bartlett, who co-authored the book
Did the screenwriter Sy Bartlett , who co-authored the book and moviescript for the movie 12 o'Clock High, provide any input into the tv series Twelve o'Clock High?… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
One of the items on my bucket list is to write to Sir
One of the items on my bucket list is to write to Sir Paul McCartney before I turn 64, which will be in October of this year. Are you able to provide me with a direct contact to his personal assistant… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
When cooking at home making sandwiches from chicken breasts
When cooking at home making sandwiches from chicken breasts that is sliced Kretschmarr buffalo chicken breast,or any chicken breast , I want to know how I can test it going spoiled by mouth or any oth… read more
Cher
Cher
MENTOR/ENTERTAINMENT
Masters Degree
432 satisfied customers
In between segments on Nashville Public Radio 90.3, there's
In between segments on Nashville Public Radio 90.3, there's often some samples of music that are probably shorter versions of longer songs. Where does the radio station get their music from? Thanks.… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
I have come across some chips from a pokitician friend that
i have come across some chips from a pokitician friend that he days are genuine.i am working in kazakstan and the chips are marked lucky chips las vegas nevada and the one i am looking at now is pink … read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
The new show "Celebrity Undercover Boss" question. How can I
The new show "Celebrity Undercover Boss" question. How can I watch the episode staring Idina Menzel? I already viewed it but would would like to see it again. I cannot figure out how to do it. I have … read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
I am looking for a good podcast that talks about the
I am looking for a good podcast that talks about the handmaid's tale. I have listened to Red All Over. Are there any others?… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
Looking for ideas... my son is graduating High School and I
Hello... looking for ideas... my son is graduating High School and I am looking to give him something very special... He has laptop, car, iPhone He likes playing sports, watching sports, movies, rap m… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
My Direct tv bill is crazy. After the promotion period my
My Direct tv bill is crazy. After the promotion period my bill has tripled. How can I cancel my Direct TV without a cancellation fee. I have about seven months before it expires.… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
I need outdoor attractions to meet in Chicago next this
I need outdoor attractions to meet in Chicago next this adress - 25 W RANDOLPH ST CHICAGO, IL 60601 United States Good restaurants, shops, tourist attractions, natural attractions ..… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
Why aren't the answers given on the show any more? We used
Why aren't the answers given on the show any more? … read more
Cher
Cher
MENTOR/ENTERTAINMENT
Masters Degree
432 satisfied customers
We would like to watch a show that's available on HBO. We
Hi. We would like to watch a show that's available on HBO. We have ATT U-verse that does not include HBO. What is the best way to watch that show in terms of economics and ease? Thank you.… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
Would like to purchase 6 tickets to Cher concert at perth
would like to purchase 6 tickets to Cher concert at perth arena on 12th oct would like easy accesses seating as my sister is in her seventies & has 2 hip replacements & 2 knee operations .would pay $2… read more
Sarah
Sarah
Teacher
Master\u0027s Degree
19 satisfied customers
How can I get a grant for school. I am looking for grants
How can I get a grant for school. I am looking for grants that give money for adults who have a mental disability? Please assist. Thank You.… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
Chewing gum without any macros I'd like recommendations of
Chewing gum without any macrosHi. I'd like recommendations of some chewing gum options without any macros (no carbohydrates, no proteins, no fat). Thank you.… read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
I do both music performing for events, and music lessons. I
Hi, I do both music performing for events, and music lessons. I generally place them under one category as music (music services). Does it make a difference, or should I claim them as a separate type … read more
Michael
Michael
Entertainment Industry Analyst
Bachelor's Degree
330 satisfied customers
Undergraduate Research Questions
I saw response, thanks for that but I suppose to give you all the clue pertaining to the project. The project topic is "The effects of cable television on reading habit of undergraduate in Lagos State… read more
Ask Veronica
Ask Veronica
Entertainment Exec.
Bachelor's Degree
140 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x